Construct pupil management abilities with Lead4Change’s management program

A quick search for the skills employers want to see in new hires reads like a list of education keywords. Growth mentality, emotional intelligence, active listening. One item in particular crops up on list after list: leadership qualities. It’s a topic that gets a lot of press. Many schools try to meet this need with student service projects. These projects can be wonderful, but they are also very time consuming for the teachers who plan and implement them. That’s why we were excited to hear about the Lead4Change Student Leadership Program, specifically designed to help students in grades 6 through 12 develop these crucial skills while completing a service project.

What is the Lead4Change Student Leadership Program?

  • A program in which more than 2 million students and 17,000 educators have participated since 2012. The lessons are based on the principles from David Novak’s guide book, Taking People With You: The Only Way To Make BIG Things Happen.
  • Guided, hands-on lessons that guide students through the activities required to complete a service project in their school or community.
  • Ready to use for teachers with term or year plans.
  • Highlights include biennial deadlines (February 10 and May 12, 2023) to submit service projects for a chance to win $10,000 to continue the work initiated by the project.

What happens when I sign up?

After registering as a teacher guide, you will receive a welcome pack and access to an online dashboard. From there you have access to a huge range of resources to help you implement the Lead4Change Student Leadership Program with your students.

The program provides all the lesson plans, worksheets, assessments, and other materials you need to make the program work in your classroom. The materials start from scratch and support the development of leadership skills by the students. These include pace guides for the semester or a year, letters explaining what students are working on, and more. In addition, the teacher dashboard provides links to how teaching is aligned with academic standards. This is magic for teachers who need to send lesson plans to admins.

how to start

Immediately after joining you will have access to Lead4Change’s extensive resource library. One of the first decisions you will make is whether to work through the lessons with your entire class or with a small group or club. Lead4Change suggests that a team should consist of at least three people, but does not put a limit on how large your team can be. You must also determine whether the 12 or 6 lesson course is best for your students. Lead4Change has guides for both options, including ways to better integrate your specific topic into the classroom. Whether you teach English, Science, Social Studies or Math, Lead4Change works in your class. From there, it really is as easy as following the lesson plans created for you on the Lead4Change website.

What is the lesson like?

Because the Lead4Change Student Leadership Program is created and tested by current educators and students, the lesson plans are hands-on, collaborative, and highly engaging. The very first lesson begins with developing leadership skills in students by asking them to think about what they probably know best: themselves! Lead4Change provides all the materials for each lesson, including helpful videos to introduce each concept.

Subsequent lessons build on the previous ones to progressively develop leadership skills in the student as the program progresses. After learning to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, students learn to build trust and work with teams. They practice active listening and start brainstorming ways they could improve their school or community. They brand their team. This creates a unity in the group that helps students work together to ensure everyone feels heard as they complete their ‘Big Idea’. Many of us want to develop leadership skills in students, but these lesson plans detail how to do it with steps that make sense and feel achievable for students.

You mentioned a service project?

The lessons serve as a framework to design and implement a successful service project. In the early stages of the program, students are asked to identify problems in their school or community. After choosing a problem to focus on, they work to develop plans to solve or address it. You can research, interview students or community members, or contact administrators or local officials. Finally, after processing their data, they put their solution into action. After implementing their service project, they also reflect on the process. They discuss what worked and what didn’t work. And they’re thinking about what changes might need to be made in the future.

Regardless of the outcome, Lead4Change continues to offer support and encouragement. The Lead4Change Challenge recognizes that great leaders learn as much from mistakes as they do from successes. They encourage students who complete the program to feel proud to share their experiences. Even if the project was unsuccessful, all groups that complete the teaching and service project can participate in the Lead4Change Challenge.

Remember, these projects will be as unique and varied as your students. Some are large and include many members of the community. Other projects may address a more specific problem unique to your school. The Lead4Change model works with both types of service projects. Are you afraid to develop project ideas? Lead4Change has examples of virtual and in-person projects that other students have completed for inspiration.

Are you ready to develop leadership skills in your students? Check out the Lead4Change signup page to get started!

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